Dallas County included in federal disaster area

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 8, 2007

Staff Report

Dallas County is included in the counties that will receive federal assistance following the severe storms and tornadoes of March 1.

Richard Bean, director for E-911, said FEMA was going to be in the area, since the president declared

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Dallas County among the other counties in the disaster area. The other counties include Coffee, Dale, Henry, Montgomery and Wilcox.

“They’re supposed to set up at Orrville City Hall, but I don’t know when,” Bean said Thursday afternoon. “The Five Points area had about 19 structures that had damage.”

The Wilcox County community of Sand Island near Millers Ferry had one fatality and about 50 homes destroyed during the March 1 twister. Cliff Gaston

was killed.

A Salvation Army radiothon was held Thursday as a joint effort of WALX Laser 101 and WAKA Channel 8 to raise funds for the efforts in Wilcox County and surrounding areas.

“It’s running real well,” Capt. Don New of the Salvation Army said. “This is a special fund-raiser for the tornado victims.”

The Internal Revenue Service also announced Thursday special tax relief for Alabama taxpayers in those counties.

Deadlines for affected taxpayers to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts falling on or after March 1, 2007, and on or before April 30, 2007, have been postponed to April 30, 2007.

In addition, the IRS will waive the failure to deposit penalty for employment and excise deposits due on or after March 1, 2007 and on or before March 15, 2007, as long as the deposits were made by March 15, 2007.

If any affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply during the period from March 1, 2007, to April 30, 2007, (March 1, 2007 to March 15, 2007, for failure to deposit penalties).

New Procedure

IRS computer systems now automatically identify taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and apply automatic filing and payment relief. Taxpayers within the covered disaster area no longer need to self-identify by writing on their returns or using the disaster designation in their tax software.

Affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area will be required to call the IRS disaster hotline 1-866-562-5227 to self-identify for disaster relief.

Taxpayers may download forms and publications from the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov or may order forms by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040.